The Delhi High Court on Monday upheld the trial court judgment convicting a person under Section 363 (Kidnapping) of Indian Penal Code and Section 8 (Punishment for Sexual Assault) of the Protection Of Children From Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The Court said, “Accused had taken the victim to another place” and “held her hand” is sufficient to invoke Section 8 of POCSO Act.
A single-judge bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad noted, “Sexual intent can be inferred by the appellant holding the wrist of the prosecutrix while opening the lock.”
The appeal has been filed by Krishna Murti challenging the judgment of a trial court in which Murti has been convicted under Section 363 IPC read with Section 8 of the POCSO Act stating that he has been falsely implicated in the instant FIR at the instance of the mother of the victim who wanted to implicate the appellant because of an earlier quarrel.
The victim in this case was a minor girl who went to Nawada to buy momos and on her way back, Murti, her neighbour, made her sit on his scooty and took her to a house in Matiala. He told her that he wanted to speak to her and held her hand tightly while trying to open the lock which is when the victim fled.
Advocate Maroof Ahmad, appearing for the appellant, submitted, “The child victim has been tutored to make false statements because of the quarrel.” It has also been submitted that there are a lot of contradictions, inconsistencies and discrepancies in the statements of the child victim, her brother and mother.
Additional Public Prosecutor Kusum Dhalla submitted that the testimony of the child victim and her mother are consistent and reliable, whereas, no one would tutor a child to file a false case as revenge for a simple quarrel over drying of clothes.
Over the question of whether the Murti is liable to be convicted under Section 7 of the POCSO Act or not, the bench stated, “It is for the accused to come with the statement as to why he took the victim to the house in Matiala when he knew where the victim resides.”
The bench further noted,
“It cannot be said that there is a material improvement in the statement of the prosecutrix. In view of the above the foundation fact for an offence under Section 7 of the POCSO Act punishable under Section 8 of the POCSO Act stands established.”
Relying on Section 27 of the POCSO Act, Justice Subramonium stated that it raises a presumption against an accused for committing or abetting of attempting to commit an offence under Section 7 (Sexual Assault) of the Act.
The bench, while upholding the judgment of the trial court, dismissed the appeal and observed, “This Court is also not inclined to accept the story of the appellant that he has been implicated because of enmity.”SMP05042021CRLA62021-195241